Spanish/Verb Tenses

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Verbs | Verbs List


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Los tiempos de los verbos: por simples y compuestos

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infinitivo estudiar - to study
gerundio estudiando - studying
participio presente estudiando - studying
participio pasado estudiado - studied - used with Haber

Siete tiempos sencillos

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  1. presente de indicativo estudio - I study
  2. imperfecto de indicativo estudiaba
  3. pretérito estudié
  4. futuro estudiaré
  5. potencial simple estudiaría
  6. presente de subjuntivo estudie
  7. imperfecto de subjuntivo estudiara

Siete tiempos compuestos

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  1. perfecto de indicativo he estudiado
  2. pluscuamperfecto de indicativo había estudiado
  3. pretérito anterior hube estudiado
  4. futuro perfecto habré estudiado
  5. potencial compuesto habría estudiado
  6. perfecto de subjuntivo haya estudiado
  7. pluscuamperfecto de subjuntivo hubiera estudiado

Los tiempos de los verbos: por modos

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Gramatically, there are different ways of classifying Spanish verb forms (as well as the verbs of any language). The one most people understand is "tense", but another very important classification is the "mood." A "mood" is differentiated from a "tense" in that it does not express time per se (which is what "tense" really means). Unfortunately, "mood" is not really a very good name either because moods do not express moods of the speaker (happy, sad, etc.) The mood is used to classify how the verb is used grammatically in the sentence; that is, how the verb usage works together with the other parts of the sentence. Spanish has the following verb moods:

  • Indicative (indicativo): Used to express statements of fact as the main verb of a clause
  • Participial (participio, gerundio): Used to convert a verb into a noun or adjective to express not actions but rather qualities or objects related to the verb
  • Conditional (potencial): Used together with other clauses to indicate a potential fact.
  • Subjunctive (subjuntivo): Used together with a main clause to indicate that the subordinate clause is somehow under discussion (mooted).
  • Imperative (imperativo): Used to express a direct command.

In many cases, along with the name of the mood also goes a tense. A given form of a verb normally has both mood and tense, although when the mood is indicative usually the name of the mood is not stated. This is one thing that makes the concept of moods hard to understand. When we talk about the "present tense" of a verb, we really should say "indicative mood, present tense". This would make it clear that when we say "subjunctive mood, present tense" we're not dealing with anything particularly strange, only a little different.

participio presente
participio pasado
En el tiempo presente
En el pasado
En el futuro
En el presente
En el pasado

Spanish | Verbs | Verbs List